Vital Signs 2015

Merseyside’s young people highlight mental health as key issue

Young people in Merseyside have reported that their main concern is their own mental health or that of their peers, according to a new report by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, the region’s leading philanthropy centre.

In its 2015 Vital Signs report, the Community Foundation for Merseyside reveals findings that follow extensive research into social and economic trends, including surveying young people themselves.

The aim of Vital Signs is to act as a guide to giving, encouraging and inspiring local people and organisations to make a difference in their own communities by targeting their charitable activities and corporate social responsibility programmes to areas of specific need.

Cathy Elliott, Chief Executive of the Community Foundations for Lancashire & Merseyside, said: “This year’s Vital Signs focuses on what is important for children and young people, up to 21-years-old.

“Measuring the needs of local communities in critical areas helps us increase the effectiveness of charitable funds we administer in partnership with charitably minded people and organisations.”

Vital Signs is an essential guide to local community issues and aspirations, helping to steer philanthropists – from individuals and families to charitable trusts to businesses – to support local communities in the most effective way.

“By better informing Merseyside’s community philanthropists about issues and opportunities, we can help ensure their giving makes a true difference where it is needed most,” Cathy added.

Vital Signs not only highlights areas of need in the local community. It also demonstrates best practice community work and demonstrates how supporters can boost local grass-roots organisations, allowing them to continue to carry out their essential, life-changing work.

Some of the findings highlighted by Vital Signs:

Chris Bliss, Estate Director from Liverpool ONE is a supporter of the Community Foundation for Merseyside.

He said: “Running our business responsibly is vital to our people and our customers. It is all about sustainability for us – a move from worrying about the next quarter’s financial results to the impact business decisions today have on financial and social results years from now.

“Vital Signs in an integral part of this in our work with the Community Foundation, helping us to partner with good causes that match our own vision and values, supporting us in our drive to be a responsible organisation.”

Through targeted local grants, funded with the support of organisations such as Liverpool ONE the Community Foundation for Merseyside has made major strides towards tackling some of the top local issues.

Funding has helped The Open Door Centre tackle and raise awareness of mental health in young people. 

Lee Pennington, Charity Director,  from The Open Door Centresaid: “Many of the activities now form part of our ongoing outreach and engagement work so the grant has established long term opportunity and benefit to the centre outside of the initial benefit. This requires no further support or financial injection but will have wide ranging benefit and allow us to reach many thousands of people in our unique and innovative way”

“Vital Signs is a major tool for taking the pulse of a local community and finding out where it stands on key quality-of-life indicator, from education to housing and employment to crime,” Cathy added.

“It addresses inequalities and deprivation and helps to deliver genuine opportunities for the future by showing what is needed most and where it is needed. We are all incredibly grateful to our philanthropic supporters and we hope that this year’s Vital Signs will inspire even more organisations, businesses and individuals to make their own differences to their communities.”

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